The weather has turned frigid just in time for a number of outdoor community holiday events. Well, grab those down coats, scarves and mittens ... because they are a big part of your Weekend Spotlight!
Still, those community celebrations are just a sample of the events taking place over a busy weekend, so check the Go West Calendar for options that might better fit your family's interests, budget or schedule. And check out the Holiday Guide 2013 series for more info on classic holiday movie screenings, Polar Express rides, great light displays, "Nutcracker" performances and more.
THE NON-HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:
AURORA, SOUTH ELGIN & MORE: The monthly Home Depot Kids Workshop is this Saturday at stores in locations including Geneva, Aurora, Bartlett, Naperville and South Elgin. This is a free, hands-on workshop, designed for kids ages 5 through 12, offered from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition to the newly constructed project kid, each child receives an orange apron, a commemorative pin and certificate of achievement. This month, the project is a Tic-Tac-Toe Board.
SENSORY-FRIENDLY FILMS: The new Disney animated hit musical "Frozen" is being shown all over the suburbs this weekend as part of various sensory-friendly film series. These include the GQT "Lights Up Sound Down" series in Oswego and Batavia, the AMC Sensory Friendly Film series in Naperville, South Barrington, Lombard and more, and the Studio Movie Grill Special Needs Screening in Wheaton. Check out the Go West Calendar for details on schedules and ticket prices.
THE HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:
GENEVA: Geneva's annual Christmas Walk begins on Friday at 6 p.m. when Santa Lucia -- a Swedish symbol of the season -- arrives in downtown by horse-drawn carriage. Santa will help light the Great Tree on the Courthouse lawn at 6:30 p.m., then you can wander downtown to enjoy roasting chestnuts, strolling carolers, freshly-made candy canes and hot cider.
ELBURN: The Village of Elburn will host its 18th annual Christmas Stroll on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Activities include visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the library, cookie decorating, Santa train rides, a holiday bazaar, an open house at the firehouse, a life-sized version of the classic Candy Lane game, and more. The event begins with the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus to the village at 5 p.m.
ELGIN: Downtown Elgin will be celebrating with its annual Window Wonderland on Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. The theme of this year’s event is “Holiday Traditions Around the World – Celebrating the Sights, Sounds, and Scents of the Season!” This year’s activities include decorated store front windows, roasting of chestnuts, decorating cookies and holiday music by Dave Newton Music. Plus, you can visit Santa’s real live reindeer, stop by Elgin Police Department Open House, do a figure-8 at City Skate, write Holiday Letters to Soldiers, relax on the carriage ride and more, leading up to the tree lighting ceremony at Civic Plaza at 5 p.m.
WEST CHICAGO: As part of its "Frosty Fest" celebration, West Chicago’s downtown will be transformed on Saturday into an old-fashioned winter vignette complete with a grand tree lighting, horse-drawn sleigh, live reindeer, Victorian carolers, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. There will also be musical performances, ice sculptures and a gingerbread house display. Here's a detailed scheduled of events.
CANTIGNY: Cantigny in Wheaton is holding its "Celebrate the Season" festival on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The park will be decorated for the holidays and there will be a tree lighting ceremony, ice carving demonstrations, live reindeer display, children's crafts and face painting, sleigh rides and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Admission is the regular $5 parking fee.
NORTH AURORA: North Aurora's Evergreen Holidays event is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at North Aurora's Riverfront Park. There will be 30 decorated trees along the park pathway, plus holiday muisic, children's activities, hot chocolate, treats and more. This is a free event. Parking is available at Island Park, the North Aurora Activity Center and in public lots on the southwest side of the riverfront area. Find more info on the Facebook page of the North Aurora River District Alliance.